Many people are buying digital cameras (which makes my heart sing … lol) but they are stuck with how to actually use all the features these beautiful cameras have to offer. I hope you are not just shooting in automatic mode. These cameras can produce such beautiful works of art. Can you tell I have a passion for photography?
Most of the times on my photoshoots, I have been asked some advice on certain camera functions and lighting. I try to fulfill requests but there just isn’t enough time at my shoots.
In the coming posts I will share with you different things that I have learned over the years. It’s pretty simple. And incredibly rewarding what comes out. My home is filled with my work . . . mostly of my children and even one of my husband. I’ll divulge more 🙂 in the coming posts.
To start . . . let’s begin with some simple techniques that you can even practice with your cell phone:
4 Tips To Improve Your Outdoor Shots
1) ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE EYES
- The eyes are the windows to the soul, and should be the focal point of any good portrait. Not only are the eyes the most important part of a good portrait, but they are the sharpest element on the face and should be left that way. With that being said, make sure no one is wearing sunglasses.
2) SHOOT IN THE SHADE (Avoid direct sunlight)
- Direct sunlight is harsh, makes your subject squint, and creates hard directional shadows. When shooting in the shade, there are no more harsh shadows, only smooth milky shadows created by your subject’s natural features. In the photography world, there is something called “The Golden Hour”. My kids have that carved in their brain . . . lol. “Yes mom . . . I know what that means”
- This is when the sun just begins to set . . . when the sky turns a beautiful golden colour and the sun is not so harsh. Another best time to shoot is very early in the morning as the sun begins to rise. Never tried that one yet . . . not a morning person (bah-ha-ha)
- You could even shoot into the sun and get beautiful effects with “flares”. (As you see in the above photo I took of my daughter. You just have to adjust yourself where you need to stand to take the shot.)
- you will love trying new techniques. I did!!
3) IF YOU MUST USE BRIGHT LIGHT . . .
- Putting the sun directly behind your subject isn’t a good idea, unless you are trying to make a silhouette. You will not see your subject’s face. If you cannot avoid this, use a flash. Your best bet is to have your subject face the sun and have them look slightly away from the direction of the sun. This will most likely help with your subject from squinting. Another great trick is to wait for a cloud to move in front of the sun, this usually creates a very bright yet contrasted look
4) VARIETY POSES
- Have a variety of poses in your shots. You may want to take candid shots. Those are the best kind. Not all shots have to be posed. Your subject does not always have to look directly at the camera. Share a joke. Make them laugh. Don’t always shoot in the same area. Have a different background scene. Along with group shots, shoot some members separately.
So there you have it. Just a few practical tips on how to improve your photography skills when you are shooting outdoors. It’s all a matter of practice, practice, practice.
I will go into more detail with camera settings, positions and lighting in future posts.
So stay tuned. !!